Firmly in the dregs of Winter and like an idiot, thinking my man Punxsutawney Phil would start February with the good news of an early Spring, I am looking for warmth, light, and good weather wherever I can find it. Just like that rodent in Pennsylvania told us this morning, there is no heat in sight outside and judging by what movies are debuting this weekend, there is no warmth at the box office as well.
Rings, the third installment of the US adaptation of The Ring series, is a horror movie. It looks like it’s packed full of jumpscares, looming threats, and other genre-specific turns. Lately, I’ve been getting my jump scares and pulse-pounding anxiety waves from watching The News, so instead of paying for the privilege to watch movie stars be killed by an evil spirit after viewing a viral video, let’s look ahead to movie Spring and do some trailer superlatives.
The Award for “We Don’t Need This Movie… Or Do We” Goes To:
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Based On The Trailer: Brie Larson. Tom Hiddleston. Samuel L. Jackson. John Goodman. Corey Hawkins. John C. Reilly. That’s an awful lot of star power for no one wearing a cape, battling Thanos, or plotting to rob a casino.
The trailer looks amazing, the cast is brilliant, and the release date is the kick-off to the blockbuster season, so I’m nearly positive this won’t be great. It’s too good to be true. Also – trailer makers; please leave some of the twists and turns to be revealed in the movie.
A project with a cast this strong, that looks like a cross between Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Apocalypse Now, with special effects this good, stands a 0.0% chance of living up to the hype. Warner Brothers is pushing all of their chips into the middle of the table with this potential franchise starter, which means the script probably got rewritten into oblivion.
Having Said That: I will see this movie
The Bar Is Set: Too High. No way it can be this good.
The Award for “Who Exactly is this For” Goes To:
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Based on the Trailer: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of three movies I can remember seeing in the theater when I was growing up. The animation was unlike anything I had ever seen, had a perfectly paced plot, and not a day has gone by since 1991 that I don’t work, “Tale as old as tiiiiiiiime,” into a conversation. Beauty and the Beast ‘91 has made a similar impact on every person who has seen it, so Disney did the most logical thing possible – a live action shot-for-shot remake of a cartoon. Bold choice. Very bold.
Who is this movie for, exactly? Is it for 25 to 35-year-old people who were moved by the original? Is it for Potter heads who are looking to get Emma Watson as many big budget movies as possible? Is it for people who thought Downton Abbey would be cooler if the antiques could talk? That is the $200 million dollar question. Actually, it’s the billion dollar question, which I think is what Disney is going to need this to generate to justify its existence.
Having Said That: I will eventually see this and prefer the cartoon which is the most “old man” thing I have ever stated.
The Bar Is Set: Unattainably high. It would take the X-Men showing up in this movie for me to be surprised or change my opinion.
The Award for “PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY” Goes To:
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2
Based On The Trailer: We’re looking at the front runner for the 2018 Oscars. 2014’s John Wick was the best movie I saw in theaters that year. Hands down, no contest. Despite it being highly unplausible and ultra-violent, it stayed grounded, made sense, and played within the boundaries of the world it was creating. There was no shark-jumping in this movie which is saying something for a film featuring Keanu Reeves.
John Wick fully leans into its tropey goodness from the second the trailer hits. He’s got a cool new dog, he tells his friend, “I’m not that guy anymore,” which means he is 100% still that guy and then some, and the choreographed fight scenes are outstanding. John Wick going to snatch the Box Office Heavyweight Championship right off the waist of Fast & Furious and I can’t wait.
Having Said That: I will skip work to see this movie… twice.
The Bar Is Set: I have removed the bar. I am so ready for John Wick: Chapter 2 that I am willing to defend it even if it is the biggest letdown sequel since Expendables 2. People keep asking if John Wick is back… I’m thinking he’s back.